Saturday, April 9, 2011

Extended School service - ESY

The following is extracted from an e-mail sent to me. It is for those residing in USA who may not be aware of the facilities available to them. Hope this helps at least one parent living in USA.

Every year about this time, I have to educate colleagues, etc., on ESY as, in this case, it pertains to students with dyslexia and who have an IEP--in so many cases--many of them have to have the school district pay for an Independent Report to obtain much needed and appropriate services based on their needs and not on the school district's availability of staff, etc. I have had teachers argue with me about ESY services for dyslexic students and say "it is a waste of time" "just have them read books." As a parent/student advocate, I would advise you to truly read the independent reports (not the school psychologist's report) of dyslexic students--especially ones from neuropsychologists’. I do know that teachers are stressed, but I have seen too many parents told misinformation and I have had to educate many school district staff, in PPT meetings, about ESY. In each case, the student obtains ESY because it meets the legal criteria and state regs. Dyslexic students can get ESY if it meets the criteria for ESY. Yes they can. Do not tell a parent "no" unless you have the data to prove such. Believe me that parents are becoming more aware--and I want you all to be aware so you can better service the students with dyslexia. I also know that teachers are put in the middle of wanting to advocate for your students and district supervisors who are trying to manage their budgets. This is important as more parents are obtaining the services of advocates and attorneys. Read below and be warned on how you advise parents. I know this personally and professionally.

ESY = Extended School Year Services!
(The following is NOT to be considered legal advice. To be sure you are armed with the correct information, we urge you to attain special education rights training)
ESY is provided for under federal law (IDEA).

Sec. 300.309 Extended school year services

(a) General.
(1) Each public agency shall ensure that extended school year services are available as necessary to provide FAPE, consistent with paragraph (a) (2) of this section.
(2) Extended school year services must be provided only if a child's IEP team determines, on an individual basis, in accordance with Secs. 300.340-300.350, that the services are necessary for the provision of FAPE to the child.
(3) In implementing the requirements of this section, a public agency may not--
(i) Limit extended school year services to particular categories of disability; or
(ii) Unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of those services.

(b) Definition. As used in this section, the term extended school year services means special education and related services that-
(1) Are provided to a child with a disability--
(i) Beyond the normal school year of the public agency;
(ii) In accordance with the child's IEP; and
(iii) At no cost to the parents of the child; and
(2) Meet the standards of the SEA.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(1))

1) Is ESY summer school?

NO! ESY is provided at NO COST TO PARENTS! ESY is not limited to the summer break! If the IEP teams decides that a student's FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education )requires ESY and that the child/student may receive some of those services through a summer school program, the parents are not to be charged for the program...ESY if needed MUST be written into the IEP.

2) What should we look at in deciding ESY for my child?

In Reusch v. Fountain (1994) the courts found the following to be considered-

1. Regression and recoupment - Does the child lose skills over a break in the school year and does the child struggle to retain those skills within a reasonable time once back at school?

2. Degree of progress toward IEP goals and objectives;

3. Emerging skills/breakthrough opportunities -(sample) Did your dyslexic student have a breakthrough in reading prior to the end of the school year?......IS that child going to lose those emerging skills over a break?

4. Interfering Behaviour - does the child’s behaviour interfere with his or her ability to benefit from special education;

5. Nature and/or severity of disability

6. Special circumstances that interfere with child’s ability to benefit from special education

3) Can my school district say they it's not district policy to provide ESY, therefore they don't provide it?

They can say it but they will be violating your child's legal rights! Remind them that federal law will supersede their district policy!

4) My school district told me they have a "special needs summer program" for ESY and that my child can only receive a set amount of related services such as speech or pt. Is this right?

Nope! The IEP team decides the amount, duration and location of services and those services MUST be individualized to the child's needs...not the programs needs!

Parents make sure you do your research on ESY. Make sure it is discussed at your child's IEP...BRING IT UP! Some states require it to be discussed at the annual IEP other states do not require it to be discussed!!!

Example..In Wisconsin it is not required to be discussed unless an IEP team member raises the issue of ESY. YOU ARE A TEAM MEMBER! This could be the very reason why many parents in Wisconsin, especially rural Wisconsin, have NO IDEA what ESY is!!! This could also be the reason why when one of our members asked a related service personnel (Speech Therapist) about ESY services for her child, that "experienced and knowledgeable" therapist said "What's ESY?"


Sarah Cox said...

I work in a school district as an SLP and we do have ESY. However, it is difficult to qualify students for it. You have to have data that shows that they regress over a long break (i.e. winter break) and that it takes them longer than 2 weeks to recoup that knowledge they had before the break. So, usually this ends up being the more severe students. Or we have a speech only ESY program as well that students with severe speech problems can go to. But it would be very difficult to get someone with dyslexia qualified.
I wouldn't try to get my son, who is dyslexic, qualified for that program. I know that if I work with him over the summer he will retain his skills. I think as a parent we have to take some of the responsibility into our own hands and find the extra help we need during the summer on our own.His teacher will give me things to work on and I will find other materials on my own.
Just my own 2 cents on the issue and how it works in my district.

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you for your views Sarah. I am sure you know what you are talking about. I have said in my article that parents are the best teachers of a dyslexic child.But...

Sarah Cox said...

Don't get me wrong. If I felt he really needed the help and that I couldn't give it to him, I would fight that battle and get him the help he needed from school.
I can just see both sides of it being an employee and an parent. And it is hard when parents expect teachers to do everything and there is no follow through at home. And we see that way to often in the education world.

Miss Jean said...

We can't even get help during the school year. The school has just ignored the diagnosis because our 2nd grader is bright enough to get enough A's to average the F's to an average grade of C, considered passing so there is "no adverse effect" in the classroom.

Sarah Cox said...

Keep trying! I know it is really hard to get students with dyslexia services, but you have to keep trying.
In my state we are now able to use "Response to intervention" (RTI) data to qualify students. This means that even though they come out with average scores on the standardized tests that you can use classroom data (spelling tests, classroom assignments, classsroom tests, etc) to help get them the services they need. So, keep that in mind and see if they do that in your state.
But it sounds like the problem for you is that they won't even test him. Get your evidence together, gather the assignments up that he is failing and show them the pattern. Request testing. If you present it in the right way, they will listen and test him.
Good luck.

Luqman Michel said...

I understand your feelings Sarah. There are parents here who, once they have send their children to me for tuition, feel that their 'job' is over. If they could only assist a little, for example by just checking that their child does his studying on a daily basis at home,progress could be much faster.

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you Sarah for helping out with Nanaandpapa1's comment.As mentioned, in my article, I know nothing about ESY in US or in any other country.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all your comments. I am a school employee and parent a dyslexic student, and we get ESY. My child greatly benefits from ESY, let us not dismitt it. But, this is a great discussion as it provides a different perspective. But, I know the system and how it works. I am in the classrooms, at PPTs, work with speech teachers, reading teachers, etc. I see both sides. But, the data (for some dyslexic students) is clearly there to receive ESY. I have also reviewed several IEPs which clearly showed the data to support ESY but the parents were not aware(of procedural rights) to even ask. I think parents have to be more aware of the services and, in some cases, the schools are not going to tell them. Many teachers are not allowed to help parents ask for ESY. I think each circumstance is different. In my school distict, parents can (with data) get ESY. Data is not that hard to collect. I guess you know that I am also a You just need to understand it, know the language and know how to advocate for such. I am parent advocate for dyslexic students, and the students that I work with get ESY because the data is clear that most, not just severe ones, can get it. I do know this from being on both sides. BUT, Sarah--you are right--parents cannot expect the school sytem to do everything. You hit the nail on the head with that one. I tell parents to do stuff on their own at home--as remediation is so important for our kids. Teachers are overwhelmed, and I have taken on many responsiblilites and even bought assistive technology for the home insead of waiting for the school system. I know that some parents abuse special education services. I know how hard it is but ESY does help. And, parents, if they desire, should advocate for it. And, I think you and I present different sides that are both important and valuable for parents to know. My way may not be easy as it involves documentation, learning special ed. law, etc. In the end, I do believe that ESY is important but parents must put in 100% at home to support the teachers. For some parents with older kids, ESY helps. Remember, some kids work better with tutors than their parents. It is not a behavioral issue but an issue of style differences. Some parents would prefer that the kids work with teachers doing the summer than being tutored by parents--this is just how some people "roll." Don't give up on ESY--it should be discussed at PPTs. I have been to many PPTs and ESY should be considred for some LD students/dyslexic. But, we need not get into the legalities. In the end, the parents must willing to give 100% as teachers are limited in time as well as restricted due to class sizes, paperwork, etc. Most advocates that I know will tell parents that, in the end, the parents will have to do most of the work and not expect the school system to do everything. Some of that work may be computer based programs, hiring a tutor, homeschooling doing the summer, etc. But, my child learns best from his teachers and mentors. Some children work that way. As an advocate, I do stress to parents that I only work in a collaborative manner, and I do not get into adversial relationships with schools as I expect the parents to do a lot at home--if they can. Mr. Lugman, you would be a great teacher and mentor for many kids.

Aliesen Senado said...
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